Things That Matter

This T-Shirt Has Caused Controversy For Its Anti-Immigrant Imagery And Now The Store Has Been Forced To Apologize

A shirt with the slogan “got papers?” featuring the silhouette of a family fleeing caused outrage in Port Arthur, Texas. The T-shirt leaves nothing to the imagination and would only be worn by someone who delights in interrogating the immigration status of others. 

The Ebony Mart on Gulfway Drive, where the t-shirt is sold, is a hot spot for Latinx families in Port Arthur. 

“A lot of friends, family, everybody know this store. I knew this store since I was a baby,” Kathy Delarosa told KFDM News she visits the store two or three times a week. 

The 21-year-old was a loyal customer so when she visited Ebony Mart and saw the t-shirt in person, she was naturally upset. 

“I don’t think it’s really nice to have for the store because a lot of Hispanics will get offended. I don’t think they should sell it at all,” she said.

The Port Arthur Latinx community is not happy with Ebony Mart. 

Needless to say, seeing the t-shirt in their community did not make Latinx residents feel at home or welcome. The Port Arthur members felt like it was a slap in the face to immigrants. 

The owner, whose identity has not been revealed, claimed that she did not know the t-shirt was a part of a store order, according to KFDM. When KFDM spoke with the owner over the phone she said she no longer sold the shirts, instructed her manager to remove all of them from the racks, and extended an apology to the immigrant community. 

A candidate for Port Arthur City Council, Armando Ruiz, was not happy with the t-shirt either. 

“That’s outrageous,” said Ruiz. “That’s crazy. How a store would put out that type of product out there to sell. This is where I used to buy my uniforms, back when I went to school seven years ago. So this store is frequented a lot. It’s in a predominantly Hispanic area. A lot of Hispanics do come to this store.”

Political and offensive t-shirts appear to be a trend in the Trump era. 

T-shirts seemingly geared toward Trump supporters have been making the rounds, many of them have been singled out as offensive. Extrapolate what you will with regards to what that says about fans of the president. Just this week Bloomingdales was forced to remove a t-shirt that said one of Trump’s favorite phrases “Fake News.” 

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and we apologize for any offense we may have caused. We take this feedback very seriously and are working quickly to remove this t-shirt. Again, thank you for taking the time to alert us,” the brand said in a statement. 

However, Pamela Wood s Baltimore journalist was not satisfied with the response saying, “Apologizing ‘for any offense we may have caused’ is not a sincere apology. This is not about journalists’ hurt feelings. This is about damage done to our democracy when your brand joins in perpetuating and celebrating the idea of “fake news.” Please try again.”

Port Arthur Residents feel business owners should be mindful of who they are selling to.

Texas is one of the most diverse states with Houston being the most diverse city in the country. Port Arthur is multicultural as well with Blacks making up 41 percent of the population, Whites 37 percent, and Latinx-identifying folks making up 29.6 percent of the population according to 2010 Census data. 

“When I saw the shirt, it is very offensive,” said Henry Jones III. “You have different ethnic groups in this area. In Southeast Texas, you have to be very careful what type of product you put out because you don’t want to offend people especially with something of that sort.”

Ruiz echoed Jones’ sentiment saying business owners need to be mindful of the communities they are representing. 

“They should look at the product before they put it out there to sell for the community,” said Ruiz. “They do need to look around their surroundings and see what type of people live in their community and check out what type of product they can have and can’t have.”

Foul-Mouthed Karen Yells At People To Stop Playing Bad Bunny And Play ‘American’ Music Instead

Things That Matter

Foul-Mouthed Karen Yells At People To Stop Playing Bad Bunny And Play ‘American’ Music Instead

Ramon Luis Cancel / Facebook

Puerto Rico is part of the United States. Puerto Ricans are American citizens (without the right to vote). Music made in Puerto Rico would then be considered American music since it is part of the U.S. However, one Karen in Wisconsin just doesn’t understand that and had a complete meltdown.

A very angry white woman went on an expletive-filled rant against people barbecuing in the park because of their music.

My first Karen was today. Todo por que no le gusta la musica que escuchamos 😂 #KarenWantTalkToTheManager Stop Being Racist. To use this video in a commercial player or in broadcasts, please email licensing@storyful.com

Posted by Ramon Luis Cancel on Wednesday, May 20, 2020

A woman made a point recently to verbally attack a Puerto Rican family while barbecuing in a park. What did they do to offend the woman? They were playing Bad Bunny. The woman, who has not been identified, called on the group to play American music because they are in America.

“You are so fucking disrespectful,” the Wisconsin Karen told the group when they called her disrespectful. “Puerto Ricans. Fuck all this.”

During her rant, the group turns on Bad Bunny’s “Safaera” and continued to argue with her.

“Safaera” is one of Bad Bunny’s most popular songs. It would be pretty hard to convince people that this song is something that should be turned off. Like, Why can’t people just enjoy their time out and about without having to get into a racist, xenophobic argument?

Some Puerto Ricans on Twitter made sure to remind her how lucky she is to be in Wisconsin.

This isn’t the first time someone was verbally harassed in a park for showing their Puerto Rican heritage. One man was charged with a hate crime after trying to attack a woman in Chicago who was wearing a shirt with a Puerto Rican flag on it. It is a true testament to their resolve that the Puerto Rican family being yelled at were able to stay calm and level-headed. Granted, they did argue back but it seems they were provoked.

It seems the woman needs a basic civics lesson on how Puerto Ricans are Americans.

A poll conducted by Morning Consult found that half of Americans do not know that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens. The confusion has been exacerbated by President Trump during the early stages of Hurricane Maria recovery. The Trump administration has been criticized for its treatment of Puerto Rico.

People commented on the Facebook video about how else the situation could have been handled.

Credit: Ramon Luis Cancel / Facebook

If she wants to hear American music, then let her hear American music. Crank that volume all the way up and let her hear the true range of American music. There’s nothing better than educating someone when they let their ignorance be known.

One person is just feeling bad for the man clearly trying to get the confrontational woman moving.

Credit: Ramon Luis Cancel / Facebook

He really just wants to keep it moving. It is almost like he realized before she did that being on camera saying racist things is not a good look in the time of social media and doxxing.

Smartphones have changed the way we live by giving us a chance to capture moments like this and broadcast them to the world. Social media serves as a way to really make the most out of the public shaming.

READ: Felony Hate Crime Charges Have Been Filed Against The Man Who Harassed A Woman For Wearing A Puerto Rico Flag Shirt

A Louisiana Cop Has Been Fired After Saying It Was ‘Unfortunate’ That The Coronavirus Hasn’t Killed More Black People

Things That Matter

A Louisiana Cop Has Been Fired After Saying It Was ‘Unfortunate’ That The Coronavirus Hasn’t Killed More Black People

Dan Kitwood / Getty

study released last week, as U.S. deaths from the Coronavirus approached the 100,000 mark, shows that the black population is dying of the virus at a rate 3.57 times higher than the white population. In some places, such as New York, that rate is even higher.

That is apparently not enough for a Louisiana police officer, who has been fired for writing on Facebook that it is “unfortunate” more black people have not died of the deadly illness.

A white Louisiana cop has been fired following a social media post that revealed his views on the Coronavirus and black people.

Steven Aucoin was a police officer with the Kaplan Police Department – a town about 60 miles outside the Louisiana capital of Baton Rouge. He was fired earlier this month after an investigation showed he made extremely racist comments on a Facebook post.

Aucoin’s comments, which were shown in a screenshot of the live stream, were in response to another user who described the Coronavirus as the “virus that was created to kill all the BLACKS is death.” The officer clearly responded with two statements, “Well it didn’t work.” And directly under that comment he then said, “How unfortunate.”

In another section of the thread, Aucoin wrote, “I can’t wait until the next part of the plan is implemented and they see what’s in store for their kind.”

The police chief investigated the comments and quickly fired Aucoin.

Credit: Kaplan Police Department / Facebook

According to Kaplan Police Chief Joshua Hardy, the matter was looked into, investigated, and Aucoin was fired shortly after.

In a brief statement posted to Facebook, the agency said “Chief Hardy and the Kaplan Police Department would like to apologize for this matter. As a police officer, we’re held to a higher standard than normal civilians, so you got to watch what you do. You got to watch what you say.”

Aucoin’s firing was met with some applause – including in meme form – on the department’s Facebook page.

Credit: Kaplan Police Department / Facebook

“I applaud your swift and decisive action regarding this matter,” one commenter wrote. “Your willingness to serve notice on bigotry and ignorance is a genuine representation of redoubtable leadership that is necessary during these difficult times.”

The racist officer’s comments and firing comes as a number of high-profile racial incidences have made headlines across the country.

Credit: Shaun Rayford / Getty

Just a few weeks ago, the brutal murder of Ahmaud Arbery – a 25-year-old black man – made headlines after a video was shared on social media of former police officer Gregory McMichael and son Travis that chasing and gunning him down. The two men were arrested and public outrage over the lack of response from local officials in February has been wide-spread.

Shortly after that, a video showing a white Minneapolis Police Department officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for over 8 minutes, until he died, has sparked outrage and massive protests against the murder around the country.

Also in May, a white woman named Amy Cooper was walking her dog off the leash in Central Park in New York. When a black man  – Christian Cooper, who was out bird watching – asked if she could put her dog on the leash, she called the cops on him, saying her life was being threatened by an ‘African American man’. She has since been terminated from her job as head of insurance investment solutions at Franklin Templeton on Tuesday, having been placed on administrative leave a day earlier.